Mathew Ellerton is convinced Lucques will continue to improve as a stayer after the sibling to dual Derby winner Rebel Raider raced to a hard-fought win at Flemington.
Lucques, by High Chaparral out of Picholine, is a half-brother to Rebel Raider who won the 2008 Victoria Derby over 2500m at Flemington, the same distance that Lucques was successful over in Saturday’s Rain Lover Handicap.
The four-year-old gelding was dropping back in trip from his last-start fourth over 2800m in the Bagot Handicap and was able to stave off a challenge by the Chris Waller-trained stablemates Danjeu and Quick Strike.
Waller’s duo dead-heated for second, a half length behind the winner and Ellerton praised the ride of champion jockey Damien Oliver who was able to get the best out of Lucques ($5) in the last 200m.
“Obviously the ride won the race,” Ellerton said.
Ellerton said he would be guided by Lucques as to whether to press on further this campaign.
But he is adamant the gelding will be better again next preparation.
“He really hasn’t learned what it’s all about and it took all of Ollie’s vigour to get him there,” Ellerton said.
“And I’m sure when he has a few smarts he’ll be a horse to follow.”
The victory was Lucques’s fifth from 16 starts.